Wednesday, November 5, 2014

A Beer Event

So, this is totally cheating, but it keeps my blog-post-a-day thing going.  I'll do some actual work tomorrow, maybe.  What follows was more typed than written.  It comes from a hurriedly-composed zombie novel, which I spewed forth this past summer during Camp NaNoWriMo.  Zombies are easy, so I get bored with them, and find myself focused on the interactions of my ensemble cast.  This excerpt comes from-- oh, just read it.  It's fun.  And please forgive these young men - they say some things they shouldn't say.

Miles was the second to arrive at the Inner Harbor Hotel, where Bruce Schwartzman had booked a suite for post-reunion partying and eventual crashing/DUI avoidance.  The original plan was for just one room, but when they learned that the girls - Phaedra McKinley and Colleen Horvath - would be joining them, Bruce decided that there should be two rooms, "in case the girls want their own space - or anyone hooks up."

"Miles!  You're just in time.  I was about to start pre-drinking, but I can't decide what to start with."  Bruce gave his best friend a crushing handshake, and pulled him in for a still-shaking-hands, one-armed, back-slapping man hug.  At five-ten, he was at least six inches shorter than Miles, and their hug ended with him looking up, and feigning a doe-eyed gaze.
Miles was tall, but slight, so pushing his stocky, muscular friend away required considerable effort.  "Get off me, you queer," he groaned.

"Hey - watch it, dude.  My aunt is a queer."
"I'm aware of that, Bruce.  She's also only three years older than us, and hot.  Also, I don't think they like to be called queer.  It's lesbian, I believe.  And how is Meg, by the way?"

Bruce shook his head.  "A - that's Aunt Meg, to you.  B - she prefers just 'gay,' these days.  C - she's doing great.  Just got her masters in English.  And D - yes, she's very hot, but she's totally gay.  And no, she's still not interested in screwing you, 'just to be sure,' so give it up, already."

"She's not my aunt," Miles said.  "Dude - let go of me!"

"I know, but I don't like that whole 'Miss Meg' thing.  It's too..."

"Alliterative?"  Miles suggested.

"What's 'alliterative?'"

"When things start with the same letter.  Peter Piper, Miss Meg, Mighty Mouse..."

Bruce raised an eyebrow at Miles.  "Mighty Mouse?"

"Yeah.  Both start with M."

"I know both start with M.  I'm not retarded.  But why Mighty Mouse?"

"Why not Mighty Mouse?"  Miles shook his head, as if trying to free pool water from his ears.

"It's weird, that's why.  You could have gone with Mickey Mouse--"

"You owe Roy Disney a dollar fifty,"  Miles interrupted.

"Or Minnie Mouse--"

"That's three bucks."

"Or Donald Duck--"


"Shut up!  I'm just saying, you've got like, tons of examples of names that start with the same letter, and you pull Mighty Mouse out of your ass.  It's weird."  Bruce gestured at the kitchen of the suite, where he had arrayed nearly a full bar's stock of liquor and mixers on the breakfast counter.  "Come on.  What's your poison?  Time's a-wastin'."

"You don't remember Mighty Mouse?"  Miles asked, sincerely and rather defensively.

"Nobody remembers Mighty Mouse, you freak!  Not even Mighty Mouse remembers Mighty Mouse!  Now, what are we drinking?"

"Liquor," Miles said.  "Something clear.  Gin and tonic, maybe.  Start slow.  And it was on right before the Little Rascals.  How can you not remember that?  Next, you'll try to tell me you don't remember Heckle and Jeckle."

Bruce stopped, jigger in one hand and Tanqueray bottle in the other.  "Heckle and who?  What is wrong with you?"

"Come on, Schwartz - you have to remember Heckle and Jeckle.  The talking magpies?  On channel 2 - part of the Mighty Mouse show that bridged the gap between Looney Toons and Little Rascals?  It wasn't that long ago, man..."

"Okay.  Right there.  You see, Miles?  This is why you don't have a girlfriend - why you never have a girlfriend - why you couldn't even get into the pants of the one girl who desperately wanted you to, for whatever reason..."

"Yeah, yeah.  Don't be a dick."

A knock rattled the door with an odd rockabilly rhythm.  Miles and Bruce looked at each other knowingly.  "Ray," they chorused.

"Beer man!" the door announced.  Bruce held it open to allow Raymond Christopher, laden with a duffel bag and two cases of Milwaukee's Best, to enter.  He crossed the room, found some open space on the kitchen counter, and dropped the beer.  "Whoa.  What's with all the liquor?  I thought this was gonna be a beer event."

"If it's a beer event, then what's with the Milwaukee's Beast, Ray?" Bruce asked, joining Ray in the kitchen to resume the gin and tonic project.  "That ain't beer."

There.  Interested?  Yeah, neither am I, but you'll love Colleen, if ever I should post an excerpt that includes her.  Thanks for coming.  Night!

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